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A Letter Awaits

The very instant Nicholai emerges from the temple of the Lost, a young human boy reeking of fish and wearing the ragged clothing of a poor urchin, shoves a message at him and flees, dashing off at rapid speed, as if the devil himself were at his heels, a hefty sum of gold jingling in a knotted bit of cloth at his belt. For a moment, his panicked flight calls forth an answering response, but you quell it with the self-mastery gained of centuries and examine what has been handed to you.

A roll of parchment - of a good quality, obviously newly purchased in Nydia for the purpose of this message - is rolled up and bound with a single daisy knotted around it. The flower has suffered somewhat, clenched in the hand of the hired messenger, but its petals still bear fragrance. Setting aside the bloom, you open the parchment to view its contents. Written in a flowing, exquisite desert script is a painstakingly crafted message, marred only by a section scribbled out at the bottom:

Sahib Nicholai -

It pains me that this may be the last time I may address you so, for while I am worried for your well-being and your condition, and I consider you a friend - though Seraph would mock me for it - there is a question I must ask.

Venom has twice taken the name, Al'Shaitan - this is a word in my native tongue which means, "that which must be opposed with the last breath of life and the last drop of blood." I am that which he opposes, and must, in turn, oppose him. In making it the name of his Ordained service, in choosing to do so, DarkClaw was aligning herself with those goals and intents. In making him your Chyld, in taking ownership of his life by giving it back to him... _have you done the same?_

((The next section has been crossed out quite thoroughly, but to Kindred eyes, is yet still easily read: I pray that it is _not_ so, but Seraph laughs at such hopes and says it was an obvious thing that I should have expected. I will give no trickery: I did not .. this, I did not foresee and it sorrows me deeply. Your friendship is a precious gift, and its loss..))

I should speak no more, until I have your Answer. I know that your health is uncertain, and will endeavor to be patient, though it is not a skill I have in abundance.

with respect,

An Answer

(written by Nicholai)
A black and white Magpie circles overhead and lands at your feet. You notice a scroll bound to one of its legs. He peers at you curiously as you stoop to retrieve the item. Once removed it lets out a squawk and flies away.

Unrolling the scroll you find a message that appears to be written somewhat hastily and as if the author was lost in a sea of thoughts.

Dearest Samiyah,

Fear not for my condition, I have overcome worse. You do not deal in absolutes or you would not have sought me out, so do not assume that I am aligned against you. I do not know DarkClaw’s intentions in ordaining him, I never got the chance to speak with her about it, and I do not own him. I saved him out of respect for her and the Lost, his talents may yet be useful, and I seem to have a connection, an insight into the lich, possibly influence. I need to sort this out as it is new to me. Remember, a tree that seeks to oppose the wind risks being uprooted, better to bend when needed and remain standing strong.


Well Wishes

(Log by Sami)

Rhyvn tells you (in elven), 'hello!'.
Rhyvn tells you (in common), 'how are you?'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), '*hesitantly, carefully* I have much on my mind to think up. And you? How is your health and well-being?'.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), 'much to think about? Anything I can help with? And I am fine.'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), 'well, much has occurred, of late.'.

Altar of S'mierc'
[Exits: south west up]
A large rock has been carefully placed here.
A huge blood-stained tree stump is centered within the rocks.
Jacek rests against a tree, in deep contemplation.

You make the gesture necessary to invoke your spell.

Samiyah examines the earth by the altar at Jacek's feet, looking for wizard marks.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), ‘I see. Belsambar told me that, Venom is now Kindred, is that what you speak of?'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), 'That is a part of it, yes...'.

A blinding flash occurs. When you can see again,
Pie is standing before you.

The Vortex Master grants you admittance.
The vortex throws you clear with a blinding flash!

Rhyvn tells you (in common), 'and the rest? If you care to share?'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), ‘I am still pondering it, and unsure of ... well... a great deal.'.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), ‘I see, well I am here if you need someone to talk to.'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), '*smile* I appreciate that.. Please do not take my silence as not appreciating your offer.'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), 'But I am bid by my god to think on things, first, and speak more with my mind and not my heart..'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), 'and on this, my heart is very troubled.'.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), ‘I understand. sometimes a person just needs time to work things through.'.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), 'and how is he - your father?'.

You tell Rhyvn (in common), ‘I have not seen seraph today'.

Rhyvn tells you (in common), 'well I wish him well wherever he may be.'.

Lost In The Mist

(Log by Sami)

Base of the Oak
[Exits: west up]
Some wild flowers grow here, untouched by mortal hands.
Violets grow in small bunches here.
(Glowing) The altar glows brightly beside the tombstone.
(Blue Aura) The tombstone of the Dark Mother lies here, surrounded by flowers.
(White Aura) Ybarra's shade floats dimly before you.
A small black cat sits here purring next to the old man.
(White Aura) An old man sits in the corner smiling to himself.

You rest.

Samiyah sits amid the flowers, her hands cupping, but not picking, the violets by the tombstone.

Samiyah gazes upon the shade.

> l ybarra
She floats before you, eyes smiling. She is beauty and she drifts before
you. Her smile warms you, and you know peace. She appears dark, and yet
the taint of strands of light run through her... she opens her arms and
offers peace.
The spirit of Ybarra is in perfect health.

The spirit of Ybarra is using:
<worn on body> (Weak magic) a scale mail shirt

> whoz
People near you:

Samiyah watches the shade of Ybarra silently.

Samiyah lightly strokes the petals of a nearby clump of violets with one fingertip.

The mist thickens, moving slowly across the ground.

Samiyah sits quietly beneath the tree, willing her heart not to race.

The rain stopped.

Samiyah glances up as the rain stops, a regretful expression on her face.

The sun slowly disappears in the west.

Samiyah watches as the sun sets, an involuntary shiver running through her.

The night has begun.

Samiyah's rapid breathing is the only sound in the area, the mumblings of the lost ones in the square, barriered away.

It starts to rain.

Samiyah turns her face up to the rain, letting it wash over her.

Samiyah closes her eyes and again tries to force her breathing to calm, to slow her racing heart.

Samiyah leans back against the trunk of the tree, taking comfort from its solidity.

Samiyah's hand falls to her side, cupping protectively around the container with the phylactery inside.

The sun rises in the east.

Samiyah opens her eyes as the sun creeps over the horizon, her hand falling away from the container.

Samiyah sighs quietly, and rises to her feet, using the tree as support.

Samiyah says, her words directed to the shade, ‘I have to say, you are no better at giving advice than the Paladin is.'

Samiyah touches her hand to her forehead, her lips, and her heart in a tribal gesture of respect.

> u
Among the Branches
[Exits: up down]

> scan up
Above You  : The Heart of the Tree

You sigh.

> whoz
People near you:

You tell Nicholai (in common), '*quietly* I apologize if my presence disturbed you in any way. I am leaving the tree, that you have solitude, should you wish it.'.

(end scene)

A Message To An Elven Girl

(Log by Rhyvn: Belsambar has just told Rhyvn that Venom is Kindred)

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'how did that happen'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'from what I understand?'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'or rather, who?'.
You tell someone (in common), 'who did that?'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Well...Jamilla apparently ripped a chunk out of his throat'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'OH MY'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Nicholai was drained'.

You tell someone (in common), '*Big eyes* then?'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), ‘I brought him a barmaid from Nydia'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Uhhhm...Venom said he wished to find a young elven girl'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'he mistook the barmaid for his, I told him to back off, yeah, she was for nicholai'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'he -did- mutter something of 'where is Rhyvn when you need her' sooooo...'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), '*listening intently*'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), 'what should I do?'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Avoid him? :P'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'you're a mage...you cannot be snuck up on without just...getting lazy...'.

You tell someone (in common), 'does this mean I can't be in the same room with him?'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'no'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'use safe room rules :P'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), ‘I don't understand all this vampire stuff'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), 'not up on the lore'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), '(enter wiki link here)'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'I'm not as good at this wiki crap as others'.
Belsambar tells you (in common), 'but I know it's there'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'he promised he wouldn't hurt me...I wonder if that is moot now.'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Wouldn't hurt...by who's definitions?'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'good point'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), '*firmly* I'm not for him.'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'Kindred being kindred...well...'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), '*chuckle* Be careful. Sounds almost like you're betraying some royal bearing or stature of a heroine growing ;)'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'oh no - that's not how it's supposed to sound..'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'time will tell'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), ‘I told him he is destined for a queen or a goddess...'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), ‘I don't...'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), ‘I think he's destined for an uhhh...late grave'.

You tell Samiyah (in common), '*bow* Good morning!'.

Samiyah tells you (in common), 'greetings Rhyvn :)'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), 'but I'll make what gold I can off him until there's a need to bring him down, if necessary'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'how are you making gold off him?'.
You tell Belsambar (in common), 'he did tell me to stay small....'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), '*chuckles* Any way a mercenary can, these days...but I have my scruples'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), '*ponder*'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'well I will say this, I don't feel..........'.

Belsambar tells you (in common), ‘I am also a thief, m'dear'.

You tell Belsambar (in common), 'hehe'.

(Rhyvn loses link)